Aaah..2017.. like the birth of a new baby or beginning a new job.. we are nervous, uninformed and optimistic for the magical future that is 2017. My wish is for happiness and health for all.
Through this holiday season my life was full of change, challenge and love. Throughout this time I was evaluating myself, and the things about myself that could use some improvement. While there are many things, the item most often cited by those who love me, is my need for order and tidiness.
I have pondered this many times, and while I make gallant efforts at being more laid back, or at ease about my so named “need for order”. I guess to get to the root of it we must travel backwards as far as we can remember.
Many people would like to place ownership on my military background and thusly so, the USMC is known for it’s order and tidiness. But in my case it was formulated much earlier in life. My love of order is deeply rooted in my mom. I cannot remember a time when my Saturday morning didn’t begin with the whirr of a vacuum outside my door. Saturday morning was cleaning day. Mom was an early riser (still is) and she cleaned to get it done so she could enjoy the rest of the weekend in a tidy orderly house. With 4 children this was short-lived victory, but you take them as they come. As we progressed into our teens and the sleeping in years, she had to be a little more forceful in her use of cleaning to propel us out of bed. She would actually come in the room, turn on a light ( bright enough to burn your eyeballs) and begin cleaning. This was the unspoken language of time to get up, and I became a person who loves morning. I cannot lay around in bed, sleeping in is about 730, maybe 830 on a really slovenly day. For this I thank my mom, the beginning of lifelong order and early rising. Perhaps she was preparing me for the next step.
When I joined the military in 1981 it only furthered my love of tidy. I didn’t love it as it was being ingrained in my brain, but it became second nature and will follow me throughout my life, guaranteed. Clever sayings like “time to lean, time to clean” cemented my obsession with order. It seemed logical to me, that all things should have a place. It helps feed my other overzealous trait, I am a doer. I am not complete unless I have a project to complete. A piece of furniture to refinish, a wall to be painted, a yard to be raked, cookies to be baked… you get the picture. The art of relaxation has somehow escaped me. It has morphed into brief moments when I am alone, and yes it often is a multitasked event. I may have a movie on, while I sort my dresser drawers or re-organize my closet. It is truly relaxing for me and I get a weird sense of accomplishment from doing it. If you are a cleaner you will understand, if not, you may just find my personal need for order is unbalanced or you may simply think I am excessive. In your world it could be correct in mine it is the norm.
I embrace the perceived odd satisfaction I get from a clean bathroom or a well organized closet. It makes me feel organized and in control of at least a small part of my life and isn’t that what it is all about, what we can control and what we can’t? I can control the extent of tidiness in my home and what it does for me. When the world inside my doors is organized and tidy I am at peace.
My belief is that peace is where you find it. But rest assured, I derive the same type of completion and satisfaction from many activities in my life. We all have our obsessions and those activities that keep us centered and balanced. One of mine is organization.
I wish you all a New Year that allows you to find the thing that makes you whole, balanced and at peace.
Until Next time,